Ashley Copeland is seen as a bright, flighty young woman who lights up a room by just walking into it. Her father owns a large, well known resort business. While she does have a younger brother, he isn’t ready to take the reins and her father is ready to retire. Ashley has no interest in the family business; she’s more interested in the shelter where she works. Ashley is dating Devon Carter, the man she sees as her future.
Devon Carter owns his own company but wants a partnership with Copeland’s enterprises. The deal is, Devon can gain control of the company if he marries Ashley. He doesn’t like this deception and wants to tell her but he’s been told he must keep it a secret. He worries about what Ashley’s reaction if she finds out about her father’s scheme. In the meantime, he’s feeling things he has never felt before but he’s sure it’s not love.
Ashley learns she’s part of the deal on her wedding night. Now, what to do? Continue as they were, walk out or become the wife Devon wants. Whatever she decides will determine how she will live her life. The only guarantee is Ashley will never be the same.
This is part of a series of books that Maya Banks is writing about a group of friends who own a business together. You do not have to read any of the other books to thoroughly enjoy this one. This book stands on its own and there is no back story needed. Characters from the other books make very brief appearances in this one but do not play a major part in the plot.
The characters are great. They come across as real people with real issues, lives and all the complexities that go along with that. Ashley is youthful and enthusiastic about life. She has never had to control herself so she brings that energy to everything she does. When she loves, she loves whole heartedly. Devon has never had a loving family and isn’t sure what to do with one. He’s never felt love and is sure he doesn’t want to. He has an ideal in his head and that is what he is striving for. But, when he gets what he thinks he wants, does it make him happy?
The situations are real. The pain Ashley feels when she discovers her father’s scheme comes across the page in waves of grief and anguish. Her friends rallying around her when they find out what has happened gives friendship a new meaning. Devon learns that when Ashley hurts, he can hurt too which surprises him and confuses him.
The most amazing thing about this story is how the emotions come alive. The characters don’t just go through the motions but the live the motions. The descriptions are so accurate that its easy to visualize everything going on.
I really loved this book. I cried with Ashley and wanted to join her friends in kicking some butt. Devon was so clueless at some points that I wanted to hand him a map to help him find his way. This story easily drew me in and kept me involved until before I knew it, the story was over.
However, there is still one single guy so I’m sure another book will be coming. I can’t wait!
Devon Carter was her first; now newly wed Ashley wants their passion to last. But her dreams of true love are crushed by the discovery that their marriage is another of Daddy's business deals. Her strategy: act the part of perfect wife and make Devon love her.
But Devon misses the bubbly, no-holds-barred woman his wife used to be. Who is this Ashley with the steely demeanor of a society wife? And will he find a way to rekindle the fire in her eyes…especially now that she's pregnant?